Pilot Season is here again, and it’s time to brush up on your acting skills and business savvy! Whether you’re just learning about Pilot Season, or you’ve been through its trenches dozens of times, it’s important to be prepared and in-the-know during these wonderfully tumultuous months! We’ve put together a cheat-sheet, so you’ll know the facts, do’s, and don’ts!
So, what is Pilot Season?! Pilot Season is the time between February and April when studios create samples of shows. Los Angeles is the most popular destination for Pilot Season, followed by New York City. Occasionally cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Atlanta will also host auditions for Pilots as well. Many actors relocate to LA for the season; this move can bring on a whole new set of challenges, so it is best to secure good representation in LA before migrating. Over 100 Pilots are made each year and, unfortunately for actors, most of that footage ends up on the cutting room floor. Pilot season is not for the faint of heart, but it can be invaluable to an actor, and very rewarding.
-Secure representation in your city of choice. (Showcases, showcases, showcases!)
-Develop a thick skin. There will be rejection, and that’s ok!
-Come to your auditions completely prepared! Bring printed copies of your sides, but be as off-book as possible!
-Update your headshots and resume
-Have fun with it! You are auditioning for a series regular role, which makes auditioning different from a guest-star or co-star audition. Have fun with the character work and be memorable!
-Move to a new city without representation.
-Read lines from your phone–EVER!
-Forget to breathe!
-Get discouraged if you don’t book. The best part about Pilot Season? There’s another one next year.
Demo – a shorter, condensed version of a pilot with clips meant to showcase the cast and writing.
10/90 – when a network broadcasts ten episodes of a TV show without seeing a pilot. If the episodes do well, the network orders 90 episodes to be made, bringing the total to 100 episodes. Picked up -when a network orders a full season (or more) of a show to be made and aired on TV.
The Networks – Broadcasting channels. ABC, CBS, The CW, etc.